“Concentrate” is becoming a ambiguous word in the cannabis industry. It could refer to the wax you smoke, the tincture under your tongue, or the THC-free cannabis oil you take orally, which is changing attitudes about cannabis everywhere. The future of cannabis is moving towards these highly concentrated forms, especially as the public has begun to understand the therapeutic potential of non-smoking methods.
All products obtained through an extraction process fall under the umbrella of Cannabis concentrates. Solvents (for example butane, CO2 and ethanol) remove components from the cannabis plant, leaving behind a cannabinoid-rich product in every drop. Some types of extracts reach 80% THC, while others are rich in non-intoxicating compounds like CBD, and offer a completely “high-free” experience.
To help you refine your cannabis experience, we have listed the different types of cannabis concentrates below.
Also known as dry extract or pollen, kief is made from the resin glands found in the trichomes of Cannabis flowers. These glands contain terpenes and cannabinoids which bring with them a variety of flavors and effects depending on the different strains of Cannabis. Kief is most commonly used to make hash, but you can also scoop it into a grinder and sprinkle it over ground cannabis for a stronger consumption.
One of the oldest players in the cannabis game is hashish, a concentrate made by compressing the plant's resin. The powdery kief that coats your cannabis flowers can be collected and pressed into hash, or solvents such as ice water or ethanol can be used to more effectively remove the cannabinoid-rich crystals from the plant. While not as potent as BHO or other cannabis concentrates, hashish remains a staple of cannabis culture around the world.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
BHO (Butane Hash Oil) is a very strong concentrate popularly consumed with tampons or other vaporization methods. Cannabinoids are extracted from the plant via butane extraction, which leaves behind a wax that can maintain a sticky consistency or solidify, resulting in a brittle honeycomb appearance or shattering like glass. Because its THC content is up to 80%, BHO is a popular remedy for chronic pain and other intractable symptoms. Always make sure your oil has been lab tested for purity, as improperly purified BHO may contain traces of butane.
Also popular on the market is CO2 oil, a concentrate made possible by expensive botanical extractors that use pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant materials. This method, called supercritical fluid extraction, is one of the most effective ways to reduce cannabis to its essential components. The amber oil it produces can be vaporized in many ways, and one of the most popular is through portable vape pens. Among the best sellers in the industry are disposable cartridges that contain CO2 oil and a medical solvent called polypropylene glycol, which gives the oil its liquid consistency.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
In 2003 a man called Rick Simpson treated his skin cancer using a home-made remedy made from cannabis. Soaking cannabis in pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol extracts the plant's therapeutic compounds, leaving behind a tar-like liquid once the solvent has fully evaporated. Also known as Phoenix Tears, RSO (Rick Simpson Oil) can be administered orally or applied directly to the skin. Now many other businesses sell their own version of Rick Simpson Oil, some with large concentrations of THC, others with only non-intoxicating CBD compounds.
Until their prohibition in 1937, tinctures were the most common form of medicinal cannabis in the United States. A tincture is a liquid concentrate produced through alcohol extraction, which removes many of the plant's beneficial cannabinoids. A few drops under the tongue may be a sufficient dose, but patients can safely take more if needed. Tinctures, which now come in numerous flavors, are a great way for patients to medicate without having to smoke.
Crumble is a CBD concentrate that can reach a cannabidiol presence of over 80%, like this one . Therefore, due to its relaxing effects and its high presence of active ingredient, it is one of the main choices when it comes to extracts. The high presence of CBD is due to its creation process which begins with freezing light cannabis, which allows more terpenes to be preserved than any other extraction method. Subsequently, a solvent (usually CO2) is used to isolate the cannabinoid material, the process then continues with a purification of the mixture and a further vacuum cooking process, which returns the final product. Its consistency is hard to the touch, and it melts like honey when heated.